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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys
i would like to know who is running what wheel tire combination in order to figure out what would work for me

reason why a lot of people claim that wheels and tires in the 17" or 18 " range are not really suitable for road course/autocross because the sidewall would be to stiff.
so i try to get some opinions from the active racers here to build my own opinion

any input will be appreciated


so long

hoschy
 

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The best thing I ever did on my lemons car was go to 17x9" wheels with 275-40-17 tires. It cost me $700 a race in tires, but the additional grip over 245/50/16s was night and day. As an added bonus, with 17" wheels, you can fit 13" brakes, which are also a huge improvement for a road course.
 

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You've got to be more specific about your needs/application besides "track work"
- In general, for a car this heavy in Lemons, most people are buying a new set of tires each race... two max (we typically do one race, one track day, and sell the tires off @ 15-20% their value). For me, one hesitation to go with 17s vs 16s was tire cost (which might be mitigated now if we switch to Nitto NT05s vs Direzza Star Specs)

- Depending on your application, you may be limited in what tires you can run. Lemons has a 190TW rating minimum. If you were only using this car for short races and occasional street use, you might find going with a sticker compound to be better. I don't know about non-Lemons legal tires but I do recall seeing some Spec Miatas at a track day with tires so sticky they were picking up gravel just driving around the paddock. Even if you could "sneak them" into a lemosn race they would be at their cords before the end of the first day.

- Track racing aside, virtually everyone I know with 18" tires has replaced at least one because of a sidewall bulge caused when they hit a pothole with their rubber band tires. That's an expensive f-up. I've done it twice with my S4 w/ 225/45R17 and those Michelin Pilot Sports used to cost me $250 (when bought locally)

- Asthetics might also factor into your wheel/tire choice. I don't care (because $500 car) but you might. For years (until we upgraded to a V8, I ran with 15" spec miata tires which were 3" smaller in diameter. Even with a 2" drop, the tbird looked like a clown car.

- My "gut feeling" is that 17s are probably the sweet spot on cost vs. performance as Madmikey pointed out that the Nitto NT05s he ran were actually cheaper than the 16" Direzza Star Spec ZIIs and BFG Rivals I have used before but without specifics on what you plan to do, I'm not sure if I have any better guidance to share with you.
-g
 

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I'm not sure what the comment about sidewalls being too stiff is supposed to mean. I can't imagine a scenario in either autocross or road racing where a sidewall is too stiff.

Also, if we're only talking about just racing, let's not confuse the conversation by making references to pot holes. If you're racing on any kind of track with pot holes then you need to re-evaluate your life. :wink2:

The general rule is that you should run the smallest wheel that allows you to clear your brakes. However, you should run the largest diameter rotors that you can afford on your car. In our case, that's generally a 13" rotor with the Cobra dual piston calipers. You can clear those with most 17" wheels. In my case I chose 18" wheels because there are more tire choices and the cost is more favorable.

For tires, you should run as wide as your car will allow because of it's weight. I personally prefer a "square" setup so that I can move my tires around as needed. I'm running 275/40-18's. They work very well for cornering in autocross and I don't have any issues with sliding through the turns so far. I do still have traction problems under acceleration but the temps that I've run in so far have been too low to really get them sticky.

So, my opinion is that 18x9 wheels with 275/40-18's gives you a good combination for road race/autocross. I can't speak to Lemons because we don't have anything like that where I live. I have to live vicariously through S4Gunn.
 

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I'm not sure what the comment about sidewalls being too stiff is supposed to mean. I can't imagine a scenario in either autocross or road racing where a sidewall is too stiff.

Also, if we're only talking about just racing, let's not confuse the conversation by making references to pot holes. If you're racing on any kind of track with pot holes then you need to re-evaluate your life. :wink2:

The general rule is that you should run the smallest wheel that allows you to clear your brakes. However, you should run the largest diameter rotors that you can afford on your car. In our case, that's generally a 13" rotor with the Cobra dual piston calipers. You can clear those with most 17" wheels. In my case I chose 18" wheels because there are more tire choices and the cost is more favorable.

For tires, you should run as wide as your car will allow because of it's weight. I personally prefer a "square" setup so that I can move my tires around as needed. I'm running 275/40-18's. They work very well for cornering in autocross and I don't have any issues with sliding through the turns so far. I do still have traction problems under acceleration but the temps that I've run in so far have been too low to really get them sticky.

So, my opinion is that 18x9 wheels with 275/40-18's gives you a good combination for road race/autocross. I can't speak to Lemons because we don't have anything like that where I live. I have to live vicariously through S4Gunn.
I bring up pot holes because most people here use their car on the street so navigating potholes to/from should be factored in the decision making. Also, some states maintain their roads better than others or have environmental conditions that cause more holes than others.

-g
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi guys

Story short:I*m in the process to get all the bits and pieces together for my t bird build, which would be a daily driver/weekend warrior type thing

The size of the rims ,i want kinda for the street and also for the track suitable which is a compromise between " comfort and drivability" on the road,but also perform well on the road course.
What i know about tires is, if the sidewall is to stiff you can pop the tire of the rim in hard cornering especially with our heavy car pushing over the front ,if the sidewall is to soft like the 15" rims mostly are , the car react sloppy in the turns .
So i try to find out what you guys use and why to give me an idea
I ran the originale tire size through a tire calculator and the closest was 18" diameter size tires , so i don*t know at this poit if this would be okay or to much
back when i was racing over in germany we had only 17" available but the car was a lot lighter to begin with

If it sound funny just tell me i just don*t get the answers on the interweb,not many racers for road course or autocross out there i know

thank*s a lot for trying to help

so long

hoschy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I bring up pot holes because most people here use their car on the street so navigating potholes to/from should be factored in the decision making. Also, some states maintain their roads better than others or have environmental conditions that cause more holes than others.

-g
yup indiana pothole state nr 1 :crying:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not sure what the comment about sidewalls being too stiff is supposed to mean. I can't imagine a scenario in either autocross or road racing where a sidewall is too stiff.

Also, if we're only talking about just racing, let's not confuse the conversation by making references to pot holes. If you're racing on any kind of track with pot holes then you need to re-evaluate your life. :wink2:

The general rule is that you should run the smallest wheel that allows you to clear your brakes. However, you should run the largest diameter rotors that you can afford on your car. In our case, that's generally a 13" rotor with the Cobra dual piston calipers. You can clear those with most 17" wheels. In my case I chose 18" wheels because there are more tire choices and the cost is more favorable.

For tires, you should run as wide as your car will allow because of it's weight. I personally prefer a "square" setup so that I can move my tires around as needed. I'm running 275/40-18's. They work very well for cornering in autocross and I don't have any issues with sliding through the turns so far. I do still have traction problems under acceleration but the temps that I've run in so far have been too low to really get them sticky.

So, my opinion is that 18x9 wheels with 275/40-18's gives you a good combination for road race/autocross. I can't speak to Lemons because we don't have anything like that where I live. I have to live vicariously through S4Gunn.
i was kinda thinking the same,i tend to the 18" my self just like to have some input from the people who actually go racing like you and all the others here, beacause you can*t beat experience .
 

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I bring up pot holes because most people here use their car on the street so navigating potholes to/from should be factored in the decision making. Also, some states maintain their roads better than others or have environmental conditions that cause more holes than others.

-g
I think you put a curse on me today. I lost two of four wheels on my Lexus today from a giant pot hole.
 

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When looking at wheels, especially if racing, get good, high quality wheels. The cheap Ebay wheels (like the ones I have) may not hold up to track use and can be brittle.

I'm a careful driver, but I'll be looking for better quality wheels at some point in the future.
 

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When looking at wheels, especially if racing, get good, high quality wheels. The cheap Ebay wheels (like the ones I have) may not hold up to track use and can be brittle.

I'm a careful driver, but I'll be looking for better quality wheels at some point in the future.
+1 to that. The wheels I have for my car are flow forged so they were more affordable while still being strong enough for the purposes I have.
 

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I think you put a curse on me today. I lost two of four wheels on my Lexus today from a giant pot hole.
Sorry man. DO you have road hazard insurance?
Also, some locales have been known to reimburse drivers for issues related to sinkholes/big ass potholes. YMMV

-g
 

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Sorry man. DO you have road hazard insurance?
Also, some locales have been known to reimburse drivers for issues related to sinkholes/big ass potholes. YMMV

-g
I don't have any kind of insurance that would be worth my time to pursue. A new set of wheels is about $650 so any kind of insurance is probably more trouble than it's worth. I can file a claim with the city and I may actually do that.
 

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I don't have any kind of insurance that would be worth my time to pursue. A new set of wheels is about $650 so any kind of insurance is probably more trouble than it's worth. I can file a claim with the city and I may actually do that.
I would. Keeping the roads in good repair is a significant portion of your property and local taxes, yet often one they neglect. That's the case here. Since the city/state is responsible for the roads (depending on if it is a city road, county road, etc) then they should be forced to reimburse damage caused by them not maintaining the roadway.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
if i could have it my way i would have cragar black D window style rims in 18 X 9 and 18 X 10 :| lightweight and strong.

Here in indiana if the car get hurt from potholes the city or county has to pay for the damage, that*s the good news ,the bad news takes forever to get the money, no bueno!!!
 

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18s have tires available in the 26.7-27" range, which fill our wheel openings better, 17s are very difficult to find with an overall diameter above 26.00". All these years I've run 255/45, and never had a problem with wheel or sidewall damage on horrible Chicago area roads. Just be alert and don't go drive the car like a Sherman tank and you'll be fine.
 

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I have saleen speed stars 18s 245/45/18 BFGoods Sportcomp-2 and they do well in autocross as well as on my potholed streets in Nebraska. Only complaint would be that on a stock alignment I roll the tires in corners would like them to be even stiffer. I really need get a more cambered alignment.

Quick Vid if you want to watch one run.
 

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I have saleen speed stars 18s 245/45/18 BFGoods Sportcomp-2 and they do well in autocross as well as on my potholed streets in Nebraska. Only complaint would be that on a stock alignment I roll the tires in corners would like them to be even stiffer. I really need get a more cambered alignment.

Quick Vid if you want to watch one run. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xZiTlZ91rc
Wanna punish yourself? get bilsteins!
-g
 

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Winkey, you don't need more camber, you need more tire. A 245 on a 9" wide wheel is too narrow and the sidewalls are already stretched out, making it much easier to roll them over.
 

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Winkey, you don't need more camber, you need more tire. A 245 on a 9" wide wheel is too narrow and the sidewalls are already stretched out, making it much easier to roll them over.
+1 to that. On 275's I have no problems with cornering this heavy car. I still have some traction issues while accelerating but I believe I can resolve those with better tire pressure (lower in rear) and warmer temps.
 
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